Loraine Elizabeth (Schwarz) Stewart left this earth on January 2nd, 2020 at the age of 95 years and eleven months. Loraine was born February 2nd, 1924, on the family farm near Manchester, Oklahoma. She was the second eldest daughter of seven children of Frederick and Margaret Schwarz.
In 1934, the family moved to Kay County near Braman, Oklahoma. They struggled through the Great Depression and Dust Bowl periods managing to keep producing crops but sometimes barely getting by. But this is what forged the high character and deep faith of the ‘Schwarz clan’
Being a ‘Farmers-Daughter’ and living in rural northern Oklahoma, Loraine worked in the fields with her father when not attending her rural country school in Dilworth, Oklahoma. She was active in the sports of track and basketball through her Junior High and High School years. Loraine graduated from Braman High School in 1942. But she did not go to college, there was a war on!
Loraine became part of the greatest generation of American women workers ever seen. She attended a war department sponsored radio school in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, completed the course of study and was awarded her certificate and license in Radio-Telephone Theory and Techniques. She left the farm and went to work for the Douglas Aircraft company during the war years building and testing vital radios and communications equipment at the Douglas Aircraft factory which would later become Tinker Air Force Base. Her vacation in the summer months saw her returning to the fields of the family farm to help bring in the harvest. Once the war ended, Loraine changed her career direction to accounting and insurance.
In 1951 she met and married her husband of 47 years, Gilbert H. “Stew” Stewart who was serving in the United States Air Force. After marrying Stew, the former ‘farmer’s-daughter’ began a whirlwind, globe-trotting adventure following her husband to various duty assignments so typical of life in service to the nation including assignments at Lajes Air Force Base in the Azores Islands near Portugal, England Air Force Base in Alexandria, Louisiana; Hunter Air Force Base in Savanna, Georgia; Altus Air Force Base in Altus, Oklahoma; Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico and Larson Air Force Base in Moses Lake, Washington.
After retiring from the Air Force, the family returned to Oklahoma settling in Moore and began attending a fairly, newly established Catholic Church called ‘Saint Andrews the Apostle Catholic church’. It is here that they established their ‘Family of Faith’.
Loraine and Stew enjoyed the outdoors immensely, so much that they acquired an R.V. and began travelling at every opportunity presented to them. From week-end ‘getaway’s to extended, multi-state excursions, Loraine and Stew shared their love of adventure with many friends and camping companions over the years. The members of the Trail Hound’s and Year Rounder’s camping clubs became part of their extended family.
After the passing of Stew in 1998, Loraine indulged herself in service to her church by volunteering and providing selfless service to her faith family. She made it a point to approach newcomers to the Parish and introduce herself. There is hardly a person who has not received a warm touch, a friendly greeting, a handshake or a heartfelt hug from this remarkable member of the Saint Andrew’s family of faith. Each one of you were important to her. And though you often credited her giving you strength, it was actually each of you who gave her strength.
Loraine is proceeded in death by her husband Gilbert H. (Stew) Stewart, parents Fred and Margaret Schwarz, sisters Sr. Michael (Evangeline) Schwarz, Geraldine Schwarz, Bernadine Lynch and brother Gilbert Schwarz.
She is survived by her sisters, Teresa Schachle and Rita Giroux; and her husband, Alfred; sons, Carl and Dennis and his wife, Sheila; grand-daughters, Karisa Kennedy-Gregory and her husband Eddie, Kathi Loflin; and grandson, Jon Loflin; two great-grandsons, Jonivan and Jordon, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grand and great nieces and grand and great nephews, numerous friends, camping friends and church members.
The family wishes to graciously thank Father Jack Feehily; the Gospel of Life Disciples and the Saint John Paul the Second house, especially Sister Maria Faulkner and Ms. Catrina Smith, and all of the lifesavers, volunteers and visitors who cared for, prayed over and loved Loraine during her final time with us. May God bless all of you!
To send flowers to Loraine's family, please visit our floral section.